Thursday, February 26, 2015

Savages is what they are

So as of late, I've been spotted around town in sleeveless dresses all covered in pink and flowers, while out shopping for an outdoor serving table for my patio. Because I'm obviously both a fool for warm weather and a fool for believing spring was here, totally seduced by the few nice days we had last week.  Much like a little tree I saw up the road from me in full bloom and freezing its buds off in the ice this week. 

Which is why I sit here for my first minutes alone in days with snow falling outside and my kids on a crazy, slippery bus ride to school.   Because they were out of school for a teacher work day last Friday, plus the weekend,  then the two bad weather days which all in all just turned out to be a surprise pre- spring break vacation.  So needless to say I'm treasuring the quiet of the house with just me, the dog and my blog here for a few minutes.  And I cannot tell a lie.... I did keep my heated mattress pad turned on in the event I hear my name being called back for a nap in a bit.  

The kids always ask what goes on in the fun adult world while they're at school... and we always tell them that we go to parties and movies and amusement parks and even take quick trips to sunny beaches far away while they sit in math class.  Because all of that sounds better than saying that sometimes Mom goes back to bed till about 9:30 on her day off and then gets up and eats pancakes.  Now my secret is out. 

So I think the boys were ready to go back today.  Especially ready to get out and see some friends and do the things that kids do out of sight of their parents.  There was general happiness this morning since I cooked the good kind of biscuits and not the cheap canned ones that daddy fixes for them.  One kid was overheard singing the Star Spangled Banner and another played a few choruses of Hot Cross Buns on the recorder, and the other one even took a reasonably short shower and made it out the door on time to catch the bus.  All the ingredients of a gung ho attitude about the return to business as usual.  And no one threw a fit or name called when the pan of scrambled eggs got knocked off the stove and all over the floor because our little vacation got us all relaxed and zen like for such emergencies.  So we just called the dog over to eat the eggs off the floor for her breakfast and ... I'll worry about the mopping in a while.  Maybe after my nap. 

Anyway, I checked out a few Facebook posts over the ice days to see how we compare as an ice bound family.  And it appears we rank high in the movie watching category but fall short in the area of dining. Which is a direct result of my not planning ahead for gourmet ice day meals.  Here was our refrigerator yesterday before the city thawed enough to go to the grocery store.  Choices included sour cream, chocolate frosting, and ground flax seed to make it all a little healthier.  

And here is an action shot of day 5 of captivity - where all my men turned into savages and either wrestled each other in the manliest strength contest, or sat around in underwear and played video games.  Actually all very manly activities, I think,  whichever route was chosen. (And husband won the wrestling match, in case you were wondering.)

And like I said, we watched a lot of movies.  A LOT OF MOVIES... all in celebration that our power never went out with this storm.  And I had the boys help with a few larger chores... like scrubbing the dirty wall behind the dog bed which was just disgraceful for way too long.  And luckily due to perfectly placed lighting, does not show in any of my home tour photos I've shown on  here.  So don't look back trying to spot it.  And I agreed to pay $5 to Kid 1 for scrubbing the mess only later to find out that daddy would've paid him 50 cents for the work.  Which tells me I was taken for a ride on that one or daddy is running a slave labor camp around here when I'm gone. 

Anyway, here is what my hopeful mom eyes saw for the long 5 day Ice-pocalypse in Dallas.... I saw boys that played together without fuss.  I saw smiles from kid 1 that I've been missing for a long time.  I saw kids venturing outside and around the neighborhood like kids should. I heard little to no name calling and almost no fighting. And I heard my couch creak and crack under the weight of wrestling boys at play with their favorite way to bond and show love to each other.  

So really it was good - now that I think about it.  And especially now that it's over.  Though if I may, allow me to quote my beautiful friend Nicki on this one... I'm pretty over having the kids home... they are so messy and eat soooo much.   Yes ma'am... and indeed.  Such truth was never before spoken. 

I think there comes a point in every mom's life where she loves her kids with every ounce of her being, but the love blooms its brightest after the school day.  There, I said it.  

And proof that I wasn't the only one thinking the same thing is that yesterday when I slid my way into the gym for work.... so did about 10 million other moms who quickly learned that YMCA childcare was open for business and rushed right on down.  Good for them.

Most of the time I'm good with admitting that it's okay to need time to ourselves as parents.  Because we are investing time and again in the bank of our children's lives.  And I think so much of our time investment as parents is so caught up in the details of it all... the activities, the meals, shopping, cleaning, and making a home the best it can be for when they get home,... that we forget we need time for ourselves. Or we just can't figure out how to fit it in. 

I had a facial appointment one day recently - a splurge and a treat for me - and kid 3 asked why I always have to leave to do those things.  Like I get to do those things all the time. He's a funny one, that kid 3. (And the real answer is  that I'm trying to hold off the years with everything I've got.  But I chose a better path.)  So I went with,... I know you want a healthy and happy mom... And I took an hour to myself.  

I used to feel really guilty about leaving.  Occasionally I still do, but not as much as when the boys were little.  But that's really why I quit subbing for other instructors at night after everyone's home.  And it's why I try to get all the errands and chores done during the school day.  So they can have my full attention and energy when they get home.  And no, it doesn't always work out, but at least its a plan.  

And I try to allow myself time to read or shop or have health and beauty appointments as needed.  And in recent years I've made a point of having one day off in the week so I can take care of things neglected around the house, as well as taking care of me.  Without worrying that I'm missing out on family or that they're somehow missing out on something because of me.  

And down deep inside I know that a stressed and prematurely aged Kristi is just no good to anyone.  Sign this girl up for a massage, asap, please.    

post script.... the snow stopped mid morning, I left the house in basic wintertime black just like Johnny Cash - but in snow boots, and I went shopping.  Of course before I left the house I started the dishwasher, changed the kids' bed sheets, started the wash, and fulfilled all my mom responsibilities up until there are more added which will be in approximately one hour.  And, today no nap was taken.   I'll probably regret that about 5:00.   Oh, ... and I ran the car into the side of the house.  More like a bad scrape times 4, but still not good.  I'm totally blaming it on missing my nap.  To be continued....

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